11 Million Users to Change the World?
Getting a bit academic (and potentially a bit crazy) in forecasting success.
How many active users would it take for TIKI to establish itself as the definitive marketplace for user data ownership and transactions in the United States? We’re guessing roughly 11 million active users to ensure a 90% success rate.
Have you ever heard of the 3.5%. Rule? Harvard-affiliated political scientist Erica Chenoweth popularized the 3.5% rule, a claim that “no government has withstood a challenge of 3.5% of their population mobilized against it during a peak event.” That 3.5% usually serves as indication that a larger percentage of the non-mobilized population support the movement at large.
Wait, so we’re now equating research based on populations overthrowing governments to a mobile app centered around user data ownership? I realize this might sound silly at first. And I’m not going to bet the ranch on this metric translating directly to what we are trying to do at TIKI, but if you dig in even just a little bit, there are more parallels at play than you might think, and our 11 million active user hypothesis may just be one worth tracking, even if just from an academic perspective.
Chenoweth’s research establishes a tendency for non-violent revolutions that mobilize (taking direct action) against a government are almost always successful if 3.5 percent of the population actively partake in the revolution during a peak event (not distributed and compiled over time).
In fact, if 3.5% of the population is mobilized, the success rate is roughly 89%. If 1%-3.5% is mobilized, the number is roughly 61%, and if 0.25%-1% is mobilized, the success rate shrinks to approximately 46%. Not terrible odds, but not great ones. It seems as if 3.5% is a definitive target if you’re looking to remove a leader or seek territorial independence.
Now, TIKI is not looking to usurp Joe Biden or establish itself as the San Marino of the United States, an independent nation strategically surrounded by the state of Tennessee. But we are looking to topple an established zeitgeist and ethos regarding how data is utilized and transacted with on the Internet, and we are looking to grant users a type of freedom by allowing for them to exercise property rights over their data.
As far as I know, there aren’t any academic papers that have shown the threshold of active users required to overtake a pre-existing giant in the market (I’ve tried digging in to MySpace/Facebook and YouTube/TikTok data, but my findings are TBD), so we’re forced to operate within the context of non-violent mobilized revolutions, and, if I do say so myself, I believe it to be a worthwhile pursuit.
In the United States, there are about 307.2 million active Facebook users in the United States, and therefore 307.2 million users participating in the Facebook ad marketplace. Using the 3.5% rule, 10,752,000 active users would be required to eventually topple the Facebook model. I’m using Facebook for a few reasons. For one, Facebook is a prominent marketplace. And also, the number of overall internet users in the US and the number of Facebook users are quite similar. Pretty much everyone uses Facebook to some extent. Willingly. Or sometimes not. Anyway…
Roughly 11 million active users would but us at about a 90% chance to ultimately succeed in revolutionizing the way we use the internet and toppling the Facebook giant.
If we’re at the floor of the 1%-3.5% metric that yields a 61% success rate, we’re looking at 3,072,000 million users, and if we’re at the floor of the 0.25%-1% metric that yields a 46% success rate, the number of active users required would be 768,000.
Betting on odds slightly less than a coin flip aren’t the greatest, but if presented with 46% odds of changing the world, I think I’m taking that chance, and a benchmark of 768,000 seems quite achievable given our previous efforts in user acquisition.
Between the months of December 2020 and May 2021, with a very limited budget, TIKI acquired over 100,000 users. Though we have shut down growth marketing efforts, that number has grown in the past year to 125,000 users. That means we’re already 16.2% of the way there to a 46% success rate, and 4% of the way to a 61% success rate.
Of course these are just numbers of users and not necessarily active users, but given our ability (in a much more nascent stage) to efficiently acquire users, who’s to say 768,000 to 3,072,000 million active users on the TIKI app is a pipe dream? At the very least they are great benchmarks to test against to see if there are any parallels between a historical political study and our attempts to pioneer the data ownership movement.
Only thing left to do is find out. We’re on to 768,000 users. Or, let’s make it around number and increase the odds of overall success.
On to one million.